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| Education and Financial

05/07/14

Waste management: Why certain purchases are anything but necessary

No one person is perfect when it comes to spending money, and we've all had our fair share of buying decisions that could easily be deemed frivolous.
The jet ski you simply had to have that one summer now sits in your garage with boxes on top of it.
What about the mid life motorcycle you thought would pull you out of crisis mode and instead is just another monthly payment on the books for something that you don't use?
Just about everyone has had this type of large scale buying blunder on their financial resume, but what about the day to day, little incidental purchases that pack just as much of a punch when you add them up over time.
It's easy to fluff these purchases off as inconsequential, but over the course of your fiscal year you may be shocked to realize just how unnecessarily, expensive and, in some cases, harmful these products can be to not only you but also your budget.

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One of the true ironies of buying is the group of people that spend between $5 and $10 per day on lottery tickets, hoping to hit it big because they're living from one pay check to another. The odds of winning the lottery are much higher than if you simply stopped buying the tickets and scratch offs altogether. A $10 per day lottery addiction accounts for nearly $4,000 per year out of your pocket. The argument to staying the course is one day hitting the jackpot, but what if that never happens over the course of 20 years of buying these tickets consistently.
That's $80,000 you'll have spent, which could have served more purpose for paying bills, putting a down payment on a house or buying at least a few cars in that time span.
Equally of a head scratching is the penchant for spending money on coffee, cigarettes or drinks throughout your day as part of your routine. Coffee and cigarettes are huge culprits as far as spending that is both ill advised and harmful. A pack of cigarettes per day along with a morning cup of designer coffee can cost your $12-15 per day, which means you'll have spent more than $5,000 on caffeine and nicotine this year.
Those buys make that aforementioned jet ski and motorcycle seem sane by comparison.
Because you put a value on items like cigarettes, coffee and lottery tickets, you don't see them as poor judgment or expenses that aren't needed. It takes the simple act of pulling yourself out of the situation itself and truly examining why you're buying these things and associating a yearly dollar figure to what you're buying. Those eye popping figures often are enough to put you back on track and, in the process, kick more than just a few bad habits.

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